Bomb disposal heroes return home from Helmand to welcome

From The Times
April 17, 2010
Bomb disposal heroes return home from Helmand to welcome parade

Tom Coghlan, Defence Correspondent
They are the most highly decorated group of soldiers serving in the British Army. Yesterday, as a military band played and the men of the local fire brigade stood stiffly at attention, shops were shut and thousands lined the streets to cheer as 200 men of the Counter-IED Task Force returned from Afghanistan.

The force, which was formed last year to deal with the Taleban’s devastating roadside bombing campaign in Helmand, marched through the town of Didcot, Oxfordshire, where many of them are based. They included bomb disposal experts from 11 Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Regiment of the Royal Logistics Corps, IED search teams of 33 Engineer Regiment, and members of the military working dogs and military police who serve with them.

In the past two years bomb disposal experts from 11 EOD have won two George Crosses, the highest award for bravery for bomb disposal, another two George Medals and two Queen’s Gallantry Medals, as well as many other awards for courage. It is a roll call of bravery honours currently unmatched by any other unit in the British Army.

The work the unit specialises in has gained greater public awareness thanks to the American film The Hurt Locker — a movie that draws derisive laughter from real bomb disposal experts.
Well done to all of them...thoroughly modest men/women as well, they must get sick of being called 'hurt locker heroes' etc, but these soldiers and officers are true inspirations to all and their selflessness and determination is something to be admired and reckoned with.

RIP to all those who didn't make it back, their sacrifice will not be forgotten, as shown by today.

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